Game Analytics

A quieter space for design discussion of long-term projects
Tichy
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:00 pm

Re: Game Analytics

Post by Tichy »

nozmajner wrote:Or a separate page in the settings with the option to opt in or out.
I'd like that solution: a separate page in the settings with the option to opt-in and showing extactly which informations will be sent in a readable form.
I think it would be transparent enough for most users.
impaktor
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Re: Game Analytics

Post by impaktor »

I think lwho raises some valid concerns. It is of course very important that the developers feel content/happy working on the project and that it is moving in the right direction. However, if one developer needs stats and info on hardware etc. then this is also something important to discuss.

We don't want to break the game for many/most? users, and they haven't really been given a warning that this might happen soon. Perhaps if there was some "annonucement area" (Space Sim Central?) or a pioneer news email or the pioneer google+ page? reddit? where we could notify people of:
  • - new major features, worth updating for
    - save breaking updates
    - hardware breaking updates
    - serious bugs discovered / fixed
I did notice one can send "announcement" through Transifex to the translators. So if anyone of them is active on a sub-forum they can warn people and get in contact with us here on dev-forum, IRC or SSC. But I know some of the translators never actually play the game, this is the case for Polish and Swedish. Also it feels a bit hackish/ugly to use Transifex announcement.

One option would be to have a log system that gathers number of kills, hyperjumps, sold tonnes, to a file, viewable form within pioneer (this is requested in at least one issue on github) and then have a button that says "Upload statistics data file" or something similar with a bit more immersion, so that the player is always in control of what/when is updated. One could also have a check box "auto upload".
FluffyFreak
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Re: Game Analytics

Post by FluffyFreak »

Tichy wrote:
nozmajner wrote:Or a separate page in the settings with the option to opt in or out.
I'd like that solution: a separate page in the settings with the option to opt-in and showing extactly which informations will be sent in a readable form.
I think it would be transparent enough for most users.
Sadly it would also result in 0 users turning it on.

Tell you what we'll just put it on Desura/Steam instead then we get all of it for free without having to do anything and no-one complains.
FluffyFreak
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Re: Game Analytics

Post by FluffyFreak »

@lwho, first of all, let me apologise for being ass. Some of my replies on here have been about as mature as a 5 year old throwing a tantrum.
I seem to be snapping at everyone today so I'm taking at least a day off from the internet. I am sorry you've been on the receiving end of any of it.
impaktor
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Re: Game Analytics

Post by impaktor »

Some interesting stats we currently have

You can see downloads in the past year here: (4000-5000 per month), and OS (71% Win), and country (E.g. #1 is US: 12800 (23%), #2 is UK, and just random: Greenland: 1 download, Pakistan: 10, Russia: 2388 downloads).

However, seems like the Chinese downloads (799) should be higher since they offer alternative download links (which used to include separate Chinese language translation manually added), and even Change log translated(!) as can be seen here:
http://bbs.deeptimes.org/forum.php?mod= ... a=page%3D1

You can read the Chinese forum (Google translate link: here)
lwho
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:26 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Game Analytics

Post by lwho »

FluffyFreak wrote:@lwho, first of all, let me apologise [...]
Apology accepted. In some of my posts I was sailing quite at the edge of personal attacks, and I apologize if something I wrote was understood as such. I want to stress that I did not assume that anyone involved here has malicious intents with the data collection. But some people (especially here in Germany is my impression) are very sensitive to data protection issues.
FluffyFreak wrote:Tell you what we'll just put it on Desura/Steam instead then we get all of it for free without having to do anything and no-one complains.
Actually, that's even worse. Now it's not us who control the data, but commercial companies. They probably collect more data than they make available and probably also correlate data from other games. IMHO FOSS and Steam (not sure about Desura) are "spiritually" incompatible if you get what I mean.

On the data items to be collected: There was one very problematic field: user_id. I know, you are very keen on knowing how many users there are and this field is what enables it. Unfortunately, this allows to tie all data of one person to one profile,which might break the anonymity when correlating data. As an example, if we are collecting data about abnormal program terminations (which technically a sane thing to do with such a feature) and a user is affected by a seldom bug and reports it on the forums / github, you immediately have connected the user_id to the forum/github account.

One way around it: Let's say we have a config option collect_usage_data, which is set to -1 initially. In that case, the user is asked if he wants to allow the data collection with three possible answers:
  1. "Maybe later", which lets the setting at -1, so he will be asked again.
  2. "No", which sets it to 0, disabling the collection and not asking again.
  3. "Yes", which sets it to 1, enabling the collection and once sends a "new_user" field in the collected data.
This does not give an exact user count, but a good estimate.

For the record, I still think such a "phone-back" feature will be more harmful for the reputation than technically helpful. I'm also not sure, how applicable data protection laws of our countries (and EU etc.) are to what you are planning.
FluffyFreak
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Re: Game Analytics

Post by FluffyFreak »

impaktor wrote:You can see downloads in the past year here: (4000-5000 per month), and OS (71% Win), and country (E.g. #1 is US: 12800 (23%), #2 is UK, and just random: Greenland: 1 download, Pakistan: 10, Russia: 2388 downloads).
We have roughly twice as many unknown operating systems downloading it as we do Mac users... and 236 Android downloads? very odd.
FluffyFreak
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Re: Game Analytics

Post by FluffyFreak »

I've closed the PR.

I think we still need a way of getting this, really really minimal, information but I'm not here to upset anyone.
emptyhead41
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:29 pm

Re: Game Analytics

Post by emptyhead41 »

As one of the silent users, I'd just like to say I think it's a good idea. All it would take for many, I would think, would be an option with a description that pops up saying briefly what you want to know (how people play), why (improve the game, ensure it doesn't get broken for users) and a small example of what gets sent. That would work for me.

I don't care if there's a unique id in a log for my game session. The information is just stats about that game :/
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